Today’s Washington Post “Fact Checker” is taking a hard swipe at New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s independent PAC advertising against Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli on the gun issue, and today’s Seattle Times piece on Mayor Mike McGinn and his “gun free” business effort reveals that supporters admit the signs “won’t stop a determined killer.”
The Washington Post article’s headline says images used by anti-gun billionaire Bloomberg’s PAC are “misleading.” The piece, by Glenn Kessler, notes the following:
“We’ve previously noted that the data on guns purchased without background checks, including the often-repeated statistic that 40 percent of gun purchases lack a background check, is rather dated and often mischaracterized. When we dug into the data, some 20 years old, it turned out that the figure is actually between 14 to 22 percent. That’s a big difference.
“Moreover,” Kessler continues, “a 2004 study found that less than 2 percent of inmates incarcerated from crimes committed with handguns said they bought their gun at a gun show or a flea market. (The biggest sources by far were friends/family or “the street.”)
“In other words, it’s often hard to tie mass murders to guns bought at gun shows. So what did the ad do about this?”
The advertisement did what former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman did the other day in an op-ed: It alluded to mass killers who did not get their guns at gun shows and, indeed, passed background checks when they obtained their firearms at retail; political bait-and-switch, as this column noted.
The Washington Post piece also linked back to a column that ran in January when public hysteria over guns was at a fever pitch. That was when the gun prohibition lobby was using the Sandy Hook tragedy to attack gun shows and promote “universal background checks.” Neither subject had anything to do with Sandy Hook and anti-gunners know it.
Here’s what the Washington Post wrote to put that issue in perspective on Jan. 21:
Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, will report data from a 2004 survey of inmates in state prisons in a chapter in a book titled “Reducing Gun Violence in America,” to be published Jan. 28 by Johns Hopkins Press.
The offenders were incarcerated from crimes committed with handguns, and this is how they reported how they obtained the guns:
Licensed gun dealer: 11 percent
Friends or family: 39.5 percent
“The street:” 37.5 percent
Stolen gun: 9.9 percent
Gun show/Flea market: 1.7 percent
In other words, only a relatively small percentage was purchased from licensed dealers. Obama’s proposal on universal background checks, however, allows for “limited, common-sense exceptions for cases like certain transfers between family members and temporary transfers for hunting and sporting purposes.”
It also shows that an even smaller percentage, less than two percent, got their guns from a gun show or flea market.
In Seattle yesterday, McGinn and Washington Ceasefire’s Ralph Fascitelli were touting that the 100th business has signed on to their “gun free zone” program. That business is the Big Picture Theater in Belltown.
Times readers are, for the most part, responding to reporter Lynn Thompson’s article with rather negative attitudes. Thompson’s accurate piece – she certainly quoted this writer accurately – is a good account of the media event yesterday. McGinn critics understand that the “gun free zone” bigotry effort against law-abiding citizens is not going to prevent a violent crime in any of the businesses listed here.
According to the Times, “Supporters acknowledge that businesses posting a gun-free zone sticker won’t stop a determined killer, but they hope that removing guns from local bars and stores could help ensure that ‘an argument doesn’t turn into a funeral,’ said Ralph Fascitelli, board president of Washington CeaseFire.”
Were the Washington Post addressing this, the newspaper would note that “local bars” are already off-limits to firearms, per state statute. It is illegal to carry a firearm into a tavern or cocktail lounge; any place that is off-limits to persons under age 21, so declaring they are part of the effort is symbolism heaped on symbolism.
This media announcement came as various polls show McGinn trailing challenger Ed Murray, with about ten days remaining before the election. If McGinn hadn’t been so vocally extreme about guns, he might not have alienated every gun owner in the city. True, gun owners know Murray is hardly a friend, but between the two Sen. Murray seems a bit more pragmatic and a lot less inclined to launch headline-grabbing publicity stunts designed to play to a far left liberal base while demonizing gun owners and their civil rights.
The “gun free zone” effort appears to be symbolism over substance; a feel-good project that brings out the Utopia in people who privately realize they have no substantive solutions to violent crime, but just feel the need for a group hug while promoting social prejudice against the firearms community.
This Sunday, Ceasefire is holding its annual “Day of Remembrance to honor who those who have been affected by gun violence in the past year.” The event begins at 11 a.m. at Green Lake Boat Rental.